2017 (T)TIaC: Religion Distribution

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2017 (T)TIaC: Religion Distribution

Post by Auroni » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:47 am

The religion distribution broke down as:

4/4.5 christianity
3/3.5 judaism
3/3 islam
3/3 indian and east asian religions
2/1 "world religion"

I believe to be this to be the optimal approach at subdividing this category. For years, we have been pushing the religion category away from "minor religion bowl" and toward a greater emphasis on the Abrahamic faiths. But I believe that Indian religions, which together account for as many believers worldwide as Islam, have gotten shafted by this process. There are a lot of underexplored facets of Hinduism and Buddhism, and I tried to get at some of those in my questions. As for the remainder, I continued a trend I really enjoyed at CO 2016 by writing some historical religion of famous civilizations (TU on Maya) as well as anthropological religion on several world cultures (TU on Native American pipes, bonus on African masks)
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Re: Religion Distribution

Post by Æthelred the Unready Steady Cook » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:21 am

I too agree that the shift towards abrahamic may be a bit harsh on other religions and I think sometimes the answer, especially at harder difficulties is for people to grin and bear it. I frequently see people play continental philosophy better than analytic philosophy (apologies for making the distinction), but if both are important there has to be some recognition that quizbowl's player-set may just be significantly worse at Sikh content. Anyway I'll leave the discussion of religion more generally for a general forum post some other time.

Specfic things I noticed:

packet 12: The kafir question was fine although it was written from wikipedia. Neat idea. I wouldn't take mushrik at all given the clues that you use in this tossup because the first three clues are people called this thing, etymology and direct quote. Surah 109 doesn't mention mushriks and I personally would contest the wikipedia assertion of their exact equivalence.

packet 4: I would just call them people of the ditch, makes that clue clearer and its not like loads of people have read milestones. Sayyid Qutb is an important person and this is defo religion. I would move the American clues earlier but that is just me because his two most famous books are certainly milestones and in the shade of the Qur'an.

packet 5: I would mention Ratzinger to give some context to that clue about Dee because he isn't a known person and it makes the clue less "who does this sound like?"

Also I would tighten up the mention about the reverence shown to the grandson of Ali because the mainstream 4th imam in Twelver Islam is also a grandson of ALi who is betrayed, but this is more a warning to people to be careful because a lot of the death/decent clues/names are non-unique.

packet 7: I wouldn't describe Rosemary Radford Reuther as an eco-feminist because that isn't what she is best known although I wouldn't say it isn't a true thing.

packet 8: I like the Maya tossup but I think this is what a neat myth type tossup would look like. I realise you made the stories distinction here which was fine, but I would suggest that on balance these things are better suited in a more contextual myth category without need for changing any of the clues.

packet 10: the celibacy tossup seemed transparent. I don't think brahmacarya denotes adherence to celibacy, it denotes a stage of life of which celibacy is but one element. Petty distinction but its worth making when distinguishing what ashrama are.

finals 1: the giant murti is in a giant tent. I wouldn't say the whole structure in the ratha-yatra is an idol.
More me being persnickety but the surah is titled for ants not the ability to understand them.

These are more minor things which people might want to pay attention to. I though the Islam was generally good if a little wikipedia driven, but I will endeavour to make a post about how to find sources to write Islam some time.
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Re: Religion Distribution

Post by Kevin » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:58 am

As I mentioned in the general thread, the religion seemed a little bit more Jewish-heavy to me, but they may be partly a function of not hearing every single packet. I think the distribution you used makes a lot of sense--in so far as quiz bowl is going to be biased toward the US (and the West in general) it makes more sense to focus on the Abrahamic religions.

Also, I agree that the celibacy tossup seemed transparent. I was wondering exactly what answer line the question was looking for (perhaps "virginity" or something like that) before I ended up going with "chastity."
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